Second place on the Cartell.ie International Rally of the Lakes saw Robert Barrable & Damien Connolly move to within one point of the championship lead as the Irish Tarmac Championship stands at the midway point. The Dublin driver had led for much of the event in his Ford Fiesta R5 with a stunning performance, but had to give way to the sheer power of Manus Kelly’s Subaru Impreza WRC S12. With Kelly not eligible for points, maximum points moves Barrable from third to second in the championship and makes the second half of the season a very exciting prospect. Desi Henry & Liam Moynihan took third overall and after the disappointment of a non-finish in the last round, the Skoda driver has also given himself a great championship boost moving into fifth place. Sam Moffett who had a new co-driver in Noel O’Sullivan for the weekend, finished fourth in his Fiesta R5, but drops from second to third overall in the championship.
It was a weekend of frustration for championship leader Josh Moffett who was plagued with brake problems and only really set some good times on the final couple of stages as he finished fifth behind Jonny Greer. Provisionally this leaves Josh with a one point lead heading to Donegal and he will be looking for better luck after a difficult weekend. Greer was happy with his fifth place while Eugene Donnelly is still getting to grips with the Hyundai. His times were very good on the second half of the Sunday stages where he was setting top three times on occasions. Stephen Wright showed much improved pace on the opening day, but went off the road on the penultimate stage of the opening day, going OTL as a result. He re-joined under Rally 2 and earned some championship points as a result. There was disappointment for Daniel Cronin on his home event as he was side-lined by electrical problems after five stages having made a very encouraging start. David Guest won the Group N category from William Mavitty, both drivers in Mitsubishi Lancers.
Provisional Top 5 After 3 Rounds
1 – Josh Moffett – 42
2 – Robert Barrable – 41
3 – Sam Moffett – 40
4 – Jonny Greer – 25
5 – Desi Henry – 24
The Treaty Plant Hire Modified Championship has been blown open also with Kevin Eves the championship leader having to retire after only two stages with a damaged axle. Top points went to fellow Donegal driver John Bonner as rival Vincent McSweeney retired late with mechanical problems having been in line to score maximum points after Eves went out. John O’Donnell took third place points ahead of Stephen Bawn and J.R. McDaid. Kevin Eves lead has been reduced from seventeen points to just five with John Bonner now in second place and J.R. McDaid in third with all three drivers on home ground for the next round in Donegal.
Owen Murphy kept up his fine form in the Historic Championship with a crushing win of over seven minutes from Duncan Williams. The Sunbeam driver set out a marker from the first stage and took his third maximum score from three events with Williams now moving into second place. The junior championship leader Gary McNamee didn’t start the event but that didn’t have an impact as some of his rivals failed to finish the rally so he retains a strong lead in the series. Derry Long took top points from Padraig Walsh as both opened their accounts for the season.
Images from Philip Fitzpatrick Photography